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(Meme) Story titles

8th January 2010 (17:47)
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Just for fun, and because I saw a recent link on metafandom discussing where people get their ideas for story titles from.  Here's a list of the fic I wrote in 2009, explaining - well, where I got the idea for each title from, or what it was supposed to convey.

If any make you think "Really? I didn't realise that!" or even "Yeah, I totally knew that!", feel free to share. Or tell us where you got your own fic titles from.

It's Curtains For You, Slayer
This was a silly, fluffy story so I chose a silly pun for the title. It also telegraphs the story's punchline, except I put a twist at the end.

I Am Destruction
This is a quote from the First Slayer's dialogue in 'Restless', and it sums up what happens in this story in just three words.

Lost and Found
A fairly mundane title, this one, summing up what happens in the story. Someything is lost, and then it's found again. Really.

Is this testing whether I'm a Replicant or a lesbian, Mr Deckard?
That's a quote from the scene in 'Blade Runner' when Deckard uses the Voight-Kampff testing machine on Rachael. Paul Ballard is neither a replicant nor a lesbian, although it's possible he may be an Active.

More Voight-Kampff Tests, This Time on Terminators
This wins the prize for "least inspired title of 2009". :-) Cameron and Catherine aren't replicants either, of course, but their answers to the questions aren't exactly normal.

In The Encircling Night
An evocative phrase that sounds like it's a quotation from poetry or the Bible or something, but actually isn't. Seriously, if you do a Google search for "in the encircling night" (with quotes) my drabble is the first thing that comes up, out of only four results.

Hiywan's Story
This should hopefully not need much introduction. But 'Hiywan' is a Ge'ez word meaning "Bringer of life", and it's the name given in Ethiopian legend to the first woman, their equivalent of Eve. It seemed both an appropriate and an ironic name to give to the First Slayer.

Looking For Opportunities
Another descriptive and boring title. Sorry.

Cinnamon Is Not The Only Chapstick
This is, of course, a reference to Jeannette Winterson's book 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit', adapted to refer to Satsu's liking for cinnamon-flavoured lip gloss.

Darkness Unescapable
A quote from 'Lord Of The Rings', when Faramir tells Éowyn about his dream of being overwhelmed by a vast flood of water. Our own eowyn_315   here on LJ had a similar feeling at the time of being overwhelmed by a vast flood of drabbles.

A Few Moments Earlier
Another simple title, though I think it's a little less literal and obvious than "Looking For Opportunities"...

A Distant Echo
The title is taken from the lyrics of 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight' by The Jam, becaus this drabble also takes place in a tube station at midnight. The title resonates because Spike can also sense a distant echo of Nikki Wood's scent on the coat he's wearing.

Yoyo, n, ancient Filipino hand-held weapon
Yes, that's a (fake) dictionary definition, because I was given 'yoyo' as part of a drabble prompt. Buffy isn't trying to use it as a weapon, but her clumsiness means it might as well be one. For the record, yoyos were indeed invented in the Philippines, but the idea that they were originally a weapon is probably a myth.

How Willow Discovered Online Porn
A very simple, but tongue-in-cheek title intended to set up a certain expectation in the readers, which the story itself will go on to subvert.

Warning: Character Death
There was a big meta discussion all over LJ about whether you should give warnings on your fic, and if so, for what. Warning for character death was seen as important by most people, although some objected because it could give away a surprise plot twist. Unusually for me, I actually began with the title first for this story, then thought "Okay, whom should I kill?" The answer I came up with? "How about the entire population of Earth..."

Majestic Creatures of Legend
This is a quotation from the S8 comic; Dawn complains that the spell she's under is turning her into a freak, and Xander tries to reassure her by saying that centaurs are majestic creatures of legend. Dawn is not entirely convinced...

Behind the Mask
The villain of S8, Twilight, always wears a mask to conceal his identity. This fic presents an almost-certainly incorrect take on who is behind the mask.

A fairly arty, playing-with-language title for an angsty, emo kind of fic (which was also my experiment in writing in the second person singular). Buffy and Faith are simultaneously making a connection and failing to connect on so many different levels, physical and emotional.

A Day In The Life Of The Five Trees Clan
Does exactly what it says on the tin. A serviceable and descriptive but not particularly inspiring title.

Blood, Some Of It Mine
Rather more evocative. Originally I was going to just call the fic 'Blood' but decided that made it sound more like a slasher-horror story; the extra four words add a touch of quirkiness. Also, the fact that the title is written in the first person might give my more devoted readers (if I have any) the hint that this fic is a companion to 'Hiywan's Story', which is the only major story I've written in first person.

Rites of Passage
A sequel to 'A Day In The Life Of The Five Trees Clan' and therefore with a similar style of title.

Buffy's Little Secret
I was striving to be all arch and coy in this title, to match the tone of the actual fic and make the punchline funnier. There may also be an subconscious reference to Victoria's Secret in there somewhere.

Retrograde Tactical Manoeuvre
A "retrograde tactical manoeuvre" is fake-military pretentious jargon for a retreat, and this story is set during the S8 episode 'Retreat', but here I have Buffy encountering an actual military organisation. So, see what I did there? ;-)


Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 18:19 (UTC)

Oh, cool. I never do memes, but I might do this one, for the edification of my tiny flist.

(Memo for 2010: get a bigger flist.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 18:37 (UTC)

Let me know the secret if you do. :-)

(The one thing that got more people friending me than anything else was my Season 8 reviews.)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 19:18 (UTC)

These are always fun. I'll have to do one too.

This is, of course, a reference to Jeannette Winterson's book 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit', adapted to refer to Satsu's liking for cinnamon-flavoured lip gloss.

I really like that book, and yet I didn't catch that. D'oh.

There may also be an subconscious reference to Victoria's Secret in there somewhere.

Question: in retrospect, do you wish you'd worked in an Ann Summers joke?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 19:39 (UTC)

I'm not sure how I'd have worked in the Ann Summers joke there, not to mention that I'm not sure how many of my mostly-American flist would even get the reference...


Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 20:18 (UTC)

I usually come up with the brilliantly unoriginal idea of using a song title, fret and squirm over how it's so much of a damn cheat, and end up using it anyway.

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 20:19 (UTC)

Although my latest is actually titled after a movie, I hear there's also a song by the same name.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 20:21 (UTC)

In that case, it helps if you cultivate unusual musical tastes, so most people don't recognise the songs you're stealing from. :-)

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 9th January 2010 00:15 (UTC)

But then they don't get the reference. It's lose-lose!

Posted by: darkestboy (darkestboy)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 22:53 (UTC)

You are certainly prolific. Nice list.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th January 2010 23:50 (UTC)

I only wrote about half as much last year as in the previous year...


Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 9th January 2010 07:09 (UTC)
thievery imminent

My titles are not nearly so clever, I fear, but I'm going to run away with your meme anyway and post similarly on my blog.

Will be linking to here....

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th January 2010 14:09 (UTC)
Re: thievery imminent

I wouldn't say all of mine are clever at all... some are, some are just "Oh God, I finished the fic yesterday and I still haven't thought of a title, oh, I'll just stick something random on there..." :-)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 11th January 2010 11:19 (UTC)

Yes, I certainly know that feeling. Actually, I think I have more luck with chapter titles than story titles.

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